By on May 10, 2012

My commonwealth is known for a few things: Bourbon. Baseball bats. Bourbon. Horses. Bourbon. College rivalries. Bourbon.

I did mention bourbon, right?

That said, we also have quite the auto industry in Kentucky: Bowling Green has made every last Corvette since the C4 era began, Louisville’s two Ford plants make the Focus-esque Escape and heavy-duty pickups, and in Georgetown… Venzas.

In light of Toyota’s good fortune as of late, Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) in a press release announced that production of 4-cylinder engines in the Georgetown Toyota plant will increase by 100,000/year via a $31.9 million USD investment (based on a preliminary $6.5 million tax incentive), providing 86 new jobs. Some of those new engines will be shipped to Canada for placement in many a RAV4, the rest being placed in the Camrys, Avalons and Venzas springing forth from the Georgetown plant. The total investment made by Toyota to Kentucky to date is around $6 billion, while employing 6,700.

To quote my governor, “Twenty-six years ago, I took part in Toyota’s groundbreaking in Georgetown, which was filled with excitement for Kentucky’s future… This overall investment continues to impact thousands of Kentuckians, while strengthening our economy and improving the Commonwealth.”

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52 Comments on “Toyota Invests $32 Million, Increases Engine Production, Jobs in Kentucky...”


  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I remember when Japanese industry was thought of as capable of making anything from old beer cans. Cheap and disposable.

    I love where they went. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and probably more. American plants and American jobs. Ya gotta love it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      and more American money flowing overseas…

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Don’t forget about Chrysler, now foreign-owned by Fiat of Italy, and the transplants from Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, Subaru, Mazda, et al, all providing jobs for Americans in America.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        Chrysler’s HQ is still in the US, unlike the transplants who bring all of the screwdriver jobs here in order to con people into believing that they are buying American cars.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        First of all, no matter how good “Detriot” is today, the market has spoken and they don’t get a $hit where the car comes from. People vote with their wallets and they, for better or worse, want Toyotas and Hondas and Bimmers and VeeDubs, etc. Where they come from doesn’t matter to 99% of the buyers. So, any jobs the foreign companies bring here is a +.

        Second, most all the transplants have significant engineering, testing and development facilities stateside…these are not just screwdriver positions coming to the USA.

        Of course some money gets repatriated to Japan when you buy a Toyota, but the parts content of your average Toyota is probably more “American” than your average GM. When they build it here a lot is sourced from here. That’s another + for America.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The money “flows” to the shareholders and investments in new products and machinery. Where the headquarters is located is largely irrelevant.

        The shareholders of Toyota are located all over the world.

        Toyota invests where it expects to make money. Right now, the U.S. is one of its biggest and most profitable markets. (The Japanese new-car market has been largely stagnant for almost 20 years now.)

        Incidentally, the last time I checked, GM was investing a lot of money in China.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        Truly sad that Toyota has convinced people that they are more American than GM. The TRUTH is that Toyota was given 1300 acres to build their Georgetown plant. They then used a special foreign trade zone (Toyota Tsusho) to import Japanese steel and upholstery in order to build their cars using Komatsu stamping machines, all financed by Mitsui bank. The Germans and Koreans were given similar deals, with #1 welfare queen Mercedes getting the state of Alabama to buy the land, train workers, and provide 25 years worth of tax breaks.

        You may not personally care where your car is made, but don’t try to tell me that a foreign nameplate car using foreign steel, stamped by foreign stamping machines, financed by a foreign bank but assembled by Americans is somehow an American car.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddie

        Dave 504, Chevy Cruze is a “screwdriver” job assembling a Korean designed car. Ford Fiesta and Fusion built in Mexico, etc. meanwhile not only the Japanese companies doing a lot of design and engineering here, Honda is designing and building an airplane, the HondaJet, in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        And you don’t think that GM, Ford and Chrysler haven’t wrangled tax abatements, incentives and infrastructure upgrades from state and local governments when they build new plants or upgrade existing ones? They use these tactics, too. If they don’t receive as many incentives, it’s because they’ve been busier closing plants, as opposed to building new ones.

        Have you forgotten the bidding war among states when GM announced, in the early 1980s, the project that would ultimately become Saturn? GM executives didn’t choose Spring Hill, Tennessee, as the location for the plant because they preferred warmer weather or had a fondness for southern cooking.

        And the last time I checked, GM had imported entire ENGINES made in China for the previous-generation Equinox. All companies use foreign-built components in vehicles made here.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        dave504, all those people working for the transplants in America would disagree with you.

        Their philosophy may be that it is better to be working providing their loved ones with a lifestyle that they can be proud of as opposed to being a UAW-member whose job was collectively bargained away into oblivion and whose employers were driven into bankrupture.

        And Chrysler HQ may still be in the US but that doesn’t mean diddly squat since all the calls are made from Italy and all the money is controlled by Sergio and the BoD of Fiat. Chrysler is not a player. Chrysler is a sub-division of Fiat just like Ferarri, Lambo, Alfa, et al.

        Hey, I own a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee but I can also see the world of Chrysler/Dodge/RAM/Jeep in real-world terms of the actual nitty-gritty. It’s Fiatsler these days. But what the hey? If it works, it works.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        The point is that the location of final assembly is irrelevant. Only about 10% of building a car is manufacturing, the rest is R&D, engineering, testing, design, administration, etc. It takes multiple years to bring a car from concept to ready-to-manufacture, and this happens at the corporate HQ, not at final assembly. So yes, an American developed, designed, engineered, and tested Fusion assembled in Mexico is more American than any Toyota.

        The Detroit 3 have definitely had tax abatements and incentives, but the Japanese and Germans were provided billions of incentives and tax abatements before they even had one single job in the US. I’d be willing to wager that Ford and GM pay more taxes to the US than all of the foreign automakers combined, not to mention the billions they contribute to the economy by paying for health care and pensions to retirees and their dependents.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “…the Japanese and Germans were provided billions of incentives and tax abatements before they even had one single job in the US.”

        That’s true because that was the only way that those foreign firms could be attracted/enticed to set up shop here in the US and provide much-needed jobs for unemployed Americans.

        The Detroit 3 certainly couldn’t hack it. They were soundly beaten on their own turf by the imports. It was exactly those reasons that the Detroit 3 lost marketshare to the imports because of the Great Mass Exodus away from Detroit and towards the waiting and welcoming open arms of the imports.

        What better way to counter loss of tax revenue? If you can’t beat them, join them. And that’s what happened. And look at them now. Then look at Detroit. Lawd have mercy!

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Only about 10% of building a car is manufacturing”

        You have it absolutely backwards.

        R&D is about 5% or so of a car producer’s budget. Most of a car company’s expenses go to parts. Assembly line labor is perhaps another 10% or so.

        The economic benefit comes primarily from the point of assembly, because that’s where the lion share of the wages and parts expenditures are made. In the scheme of things, R&D is barely relevant.

        Admittedly, I am impressed that you managed to get it as wrong as you have. There’s striking out, and then there’s batting the ball into the stands behind home plate.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        “R&D is about 5% or so of a car producer’s budget. Most of a car company’s expenses go to parts. Assembly line labor is perhaps another 10% or so.”

        This might be the dumbest thing I have ever read on the internet. And that’s saying something. If you think that an automaker only spends 5% on R&D in today’s environment, then don’t even bother responding.

        Educate yourself:
        http://wardsauto.com/ar/automotive_rd_spending_101109
        http://www.detroitchamber.com/component/content/article/14-about-detroit/924-auto-industry

        I quote: “Additionally, the auto industry accounted for nearly one-third of the total $18 billion contraction in R&D spending among all industries in 2009″ Automotive R&D spending accounts for one third of ALL industries!

        “The economic benefit comes primarily from the point of assembly, because that’s where the lion share of the wages and parts expenditures are made. In the scheme of things, R&D is barely relevant.”

        The lion’s share of wages goes to the engineers, designers, software developers, and office folks, not the $25/hr line workers. Assembly is the cheapest labor in manufacturing.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        For an example of what is wrong with Dave’s post above, let’s look at Ford’s financial statements:

        Total revenues for 2011 and 2010 were $136.3 and $129 billion, respectively.

        SG&A (which is the office overhead and selling costs) were $11.6 billion and $12 billion, respectively. That works out to 8.5% of revenues in 2011, and 9.3% in 2010.

        R&D during those years were $5.3 billion and $5.0 billion, respectively. That works out to 3.9% of revenue during both years.

        Total automotive cost of sales during 2011, excluding R&D, was $108 billion. That’s equivalent to 84% of automotive revenues and 79% of total revenues. Labor and parts are in that figure.

        It’s pretty obvious which expenditures are larger. Overhead is a drop in the bucket. Cars are made of metal and plastic and glass, and that’s mostly what you’re paying for when you buy a new car.

        http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/37996/000003799612000007/f12312011-10k.htm#s1D847AB38F7B17F7024889ECAD4488C3

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “If you think that an automaker only spends 5% on R&D in today’s environment, then don’t even bother responding.”

        You have a point. In Ford’s case, I was actually overstating the amount spent on R&D. For that, I apologize.

        Oh, that isn’t quite what you meant, was it? Oops.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        Nice cherry picking of data using years after R&D budgets have been slashed year over year and revenue has increased. What about the years when Ford had the highest R&D budgets in the industry in the face of ever-declining revenue? Either way, manufacturing plants don’t get to pretend they are their own little fiefdoms. The money and budgets flow to the headquarters, not the point of assembly. Even if it did, the point is that the foreign makes source their parts from overseas, so ‘parts expenditures’ financed by a Japanese bank to buy Komatsu products doesn’t benefit Americans.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        If you want to argue with Pch101 on how to interpret a company’s financial information…good luck on that one.

        And even if all of the money does “flow back to the company headquarters,” what, exactly, do you think that the company then does with it? Lock it in an underground vault forever? Or use it to develop new products and update or construct factories to build said products?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The money and budgets flow to the headquarters, not the point of assembly”

        I think that I just illustrated quite clearly that you really don’t have a clue of what you’re talking about.

        Since you still haven’t figured that out, here’s a bit more.

        GM:
        2011 revenue: $150.3 billion
        2011 R&D: $8.1 billion
        R&D as percentage of revenues: 5.4%

        http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1467858/000146785812000014/gm201110k.htm#sA14B83F5F7123BB141111031C996B932

        Chrysler:
        2011 revenue: $55 billion
        2011 R&D: $1.7 billion
        R&D as percentage of revenues: 3.1%

        http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1513153/000119312512099069/d292973d10k.htm

        VAG:
        2011 revenue: €159.3 billion
        2011 R&D: €7.2 billion
        R&D as percentage of revenues: 4.5%

        http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/publications/2012/03/Volkswagen_AG_Annual_Report_2011.bin.html/binarystorageitem/file/Y_2011_e.pdf

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        “And even if all of the money does “flow back to the company headquarters,” what, exactly, do you think that the company then does with it? Lock it in an underground vault forever? Or use it to develop new products and update or construct factories to build said products?”

        what part don’t you understand? When you buy your “American” Camry, your US dollars are sent straight to Japan to develop new products or construct factories using Japanese steel and stamping, the money doesn’t stay here as it would if you bought a “Mexican” Fusion. No one said anything about locking it in a vault.

        I accuse PCH101 of cherry picking numbers, and what does he do? Cherry pick more numbers that don’t prove the point that assembly plants are not where the money goes.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Dave, you need to type less and read more. You don’t have a clue of what you’re talking about.

        You claimed that R&D is a significant expense. Quite clearly, in percentage terms, it isn’t.

        You claimed that most of the money goes to overhead in the front office. The financial statements make it quite clear that your claim couldn’t be further from the truth.

        You’re firing on no cylinders. Go back to the drawing board, and try to learn something about this.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        “You claimed that R&D is a significant expense. Quite clearly, in percentage terms, it isn’t.”

        I quote myself: “R&D, engineering, testing, design, administration, etc.”

        “You claimed that most of the money goes to overhead in the front office. The financial statements make it quite clear that your claim couldn’t be further from the truth.”

        I said that the bulk of the money goes to HQ, a claim I still stand by. You somehow boiled that down into only SG&A and not Cost of Sales, which also includes certain engineering and front office costs. Labor costs are less than one third of that number. May I suggest you learn to read? Not to mention that nowhere have you addressed the actual main point that foreign automakers buying foreign parts through their foreign trade zone does not make an American car, regardless of whether their expenditure is 5% or 50%

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I said that the bulk of the money goes to HQ”

        And as I keep pointing out, this point is completely false.

        Either you are utterly incapable of telling the truth, or else you have no ability whatsoever to read a financial statement. I don’t know which one it is in your case, but regardless, you are still absolutely wrong.

        I’ve provided links to the financial statements to the Detroit automakers and to VW, and all four of them prove you wrong. We could review those of Daimler, Toyota, Honda, BMW and the like, and they would also prove you wrong. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that you don’t know how to read an annual report, otherwise I’ll have to just dismiss you as a liar and move on.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      If Toyota making engines in the United States, REALLY irks you that much, then, please send those jobs and investment to the UK. We’ll be more than happy to accept the investment and manufacture engines for you to put into your Camries. This will help drive up the UK’s export order book, plus provide many valuable skills to workers which will help increase their career prospects which will drive up their quality of living. It will also cement the United States’ position of the world’s biggest importer and drive your exports even further down than it actually is.

      If, after reading this, you realise that moaning about a company wanting to create more jobs, at a time when they’re scarce, and help increase your country’s exports, at a time when they are falling, and realising that where a company’s profits and R&D go to is almost irrelevant, then maybe it’s worth being quiet and accepting that a company wishes to invest in your country at a time when others would kill for an opportunity like that…

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Someone explain to the displaced GM workers in other areas that there are jobs in Ky that they could apply for, they seem to think the UAW controls it all.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Since the state is paying $75K per job, I think these will be going to locals.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    $30,000,000+ additional investment.

    100,000 more engines per year.

    And a net increase of 86 jobs.

    This is a perfect example of why manufacturing will never employ the same numbers of people that it did in the past, even as we continue to manufacture more and more stuff.

    Modern equipment and processes are so good that you simply don’t need a whole lot of workers to make a staggering amount of high-quality products.

    Manufacturing employment hasn’t dropped off because of something that was done by a politician, or by greedy execs moving jobs offshore. Manufacturing employment has fallen as output has risen simply because technology has made a whole bunch of what used to be direct labor unnecessary.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      The average human is dirty, inefficient, inconsistent, illogical, emotional, untrainable, demanding, mistake-prone, unreliable, high-maintenance, argumentative, ignorant, sloppy, incapable and smelly. Therefore, they are undesirable as factors of production.

      On the other hand, we must employ and pay a small number of humans.

      Or, there would be no one to buy our products….. :o/

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        During the eighties and nineties I read comments from what the Japanese manufacturers in joint ventures with American auto manufacturers had to say about the American worker and UAW labor in general, especially those employed by Chrysler.

        I mention Chrysler only because of its long-standing and well-deserved reputation of making crap-quality vehicles, as recently pointed out in the WSJ. A reputation that Chrysler is still fighting to overcome to this very day.

        To no one’s surprise, the American auto workers did not measure up to those in Europe and Japan, or even Australia, Malaysia, and Korea.

        Although Toyota and Honda were strangely silent about their experiences with the American worker, both instituted quality control programs that included repair teams before a completed vehicle left the assembly area. A costly but necessary measure to fix things missed on the assembly line, like plastic fasteners, nuts and bolts.

        We should all be grateful that the foreigners have chosen America as the place to manufacture vehicles and provide jobs to Americans but I wonder if opening those factories in Mexico would not have been the better investment.

        After all, ALL US auto manufacturers have made enormous investments in production in Mexico and have been handsomely rewarded with higher quality and greater profits while at the same time lowering their warranty-expenses and ducking confrontation with the UAW.

        Toyota’s expansion in the US speaks well of Akio Toyoda and his willingness to overlook the loss of face and beating he took before Congress and the American people. He is actually rewarding America for attempting to destroy Toyota’s reputation with lies and other falsehoods.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        I don’t recall the Japanese auto makers criticizing the American worker. I do recall some pointed comments regarding how those workers have been managed, along with a concerted effort to keep the UAW out of their plants, which speaks volumes on their views of the union.

        Honda, for example, has been building motorcycles here for over 30 years, and cars here since 1982, so I would wager that it is comfortable with American workers. At least, those workers who have been carefully screened by Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Made in USA…By Robots

      http://www.despair.com/madeinusa.html

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Toyota likes to put production into the target market.

      Interestingly, at their recent quarterly announcement, they mentioned that they are trying to come up with a way to build engines in smaller, lower-volume plants. They would like to get more engine production out into their emerging markets.

      I would presume one way to do this would be to attempt to reduce the capital employed, which probably means an increase in labor per engine. Less fixed cost, more variable.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        But the ROI is greater when more robots are used for assembly, once the initial investment in them is amortized into the total cost equation.

        Fewer people, yes. More robots, yes. Work around the clock, yes, by working the people in shifts. Robots do not need a break nor do they waste time. People do.

        I think this is a prudent move for Toyota and we may see more ‘maximizing’ of plants and equipment at other locations, like TX and MS, or Canada, as an example.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        HDC,

        That is true but the high fixed cost means that you have to build a great many engines to get the project to pay.

        Toyota is looking for a way to build a low-volume plant that still makes engine relatively inexpensively. That means they can’t amortize the high capital cost of a highly automated plant over a large number of engines. I figure this means more local labor.

        Although, they might be looking for ways to develop a less expensive robot.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        KixStart, I completely understand what you are saying. I just cannot see how anyone, even Toyota can make a low-volume plant pay off. Break-even is dictated by volume and cost.

        Take Nissan, as an example. Nissan is going to make a bunch of engines for different manufacturers so that economy of scale can minimize the impact of the cost of operating an in-house engine plant for individual manufacturers.

        Chrysler and Mitsubishi tried that, and failed miserably. I see trending towards high-volume plants for critical components like engine blocks, transmission casings and differential housings which then can accommodate the gut-requirements for different manufacturers.

        By that I mean, 4-cyl engine blocks with different bore sizes and different head-configurations for different manufacturers, i.e. a range from 4-cyl 1.6-liter blocks with 8-valve SOHC for one manufacturer all the way up to a 2.4-liter 16-valve VVT DOHC for a Mercedes C-class, and everything in between as needed for different manufacturers.

        Another option would be transmission casings that can house 5-speed, 6-speed and 8-speed automatics while being cast for multiple mounting configurations.

        Mazda and Ford did that for awhile with the 6-speed automatic used in both Ford and Mazda products, until their love affair soured.

        In any case, I’m sure Toyota will work it out and find a happy medium to both satisfy their shareholders and keep costs to a minimum for the customers.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      I remember reading somewhere that the entire 250-person staff was laid off a few years ago when they were closing a Sony plant which made 60%-70% of the world’s CD/DVD supplies. They shut that plant down because they probably found a way to do it even more efficiently.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        In 2010 Sony closed its plant in Dothan, Alabama and laid off around 320 employees. This plant made magnetic tape and coating for compact discs. At its peak in the 1980’s the plant employeed over 2,000 people. As the market for cassette and VHS tapes dried up, so did the plant’s business. After closure its remaining production was shifted to another Sony plant in Japan. Part of what happened here resulted from more efficient production, and part resulted from the plant’s main product going the way of the buggy whip.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      “Manufacturing employment has fallen as output has risen simply because technology has made a whole bunch of what used to be direct labor unnecessary.”

      Interesting point.

  • avatar
    Molotovio

    4 cylinders in an Avalon? Are you sure?

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I only have second-hand info on this topic, and not on the Toyota plants in Lexington Ky, but a friend-of-a-friend who works in the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tn reports that his final inspection job RARELY turns up any assembly errors or quality control issues, and worker morale continues to be very high.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      During my visit to the new Hyundai Montgomery, AL, plant a few years back, the line stopped three times during the hour I was on the floor with the other visitors, and there were only two cars sidelined at the fix-it bay. Considering their pace, that was good.

      No doubt, they’ve all come a long way since the early days of hiring American labor. But that does not take away the problems that the foreign employers experienced early on.

      Had it been an American factory, flaws and qc issues would have merrily passed out of assembly area and on to the buyers to be fixed out in the field, as we experienced with the Detroit 3 for decades.

      There was a reason for the Great Mass Exodus away from Detroit and towards all thing imported. That was just one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      I was in Dearborn interviewing at Ford around 2002, and get the standard factory tour. We were told that on, say, the Ford Explorer, a +/- 5% variation in bumper length is acceptable. Wow, I says.

      Not sure if this is the complete truth – I heard that when Hyundai hired workers in Alabama, so many were functionally illiterate that they went with fully pictorial assembly instructions (think Ikea) instead of anything with words on it. Going with that approach apparently improved quality quite a lot.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        onyxtape, yeah I know what you mean about the “functionally illiterate” aspect of hiring American workers. I just didn’t want to go there.

        I enjoy reading the comments posted on ttac and I want to continue that privilege so I do not want to give Bertel cause for asking me to leave for offending UAW and other American auto workers.

        But what you say is true. I saw a lot of pictorials all around the plant, the breakroom and even the washrooms. Some dealt with safety, others with pride in performance. I also saw a lot of Korean men there. Maybe they were observers for the home office. Maybe they were triple-checking the finished products.

        Overall, I was impressed. Actually, blown away was more like it. For awhile there, that plant was the most modern in America and the world. And we all know how well Hyundai is doing these days. They got something right.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        In 10 years there will be flat panel videos instructing the entry level worker how to do simple tasks. Today, many degenerate Blue States’ labor laws effectively prevent screening and/or culling the illiterate from factories.

        On the other hand, times are good for literate, mathematically inclined (think algebra and trig) blue collar workers with problem solving skills. There’s demand for those who can set up, ‘program’, and maintain increasingly complex machinery.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        trees, I agree with that. I urged all my kids to get an education in something that was marketable, and they did. As a direct result of that education they each enjoy annual incomes that dwarf my total lifetime income.

        I recently read an article about PhDs living on Obama-welfare because they are unemployed, can’t get a job, and have an edumacation that simply does not matter.

        With four more years of Obama, we all can look forward to more of that. It should not surprise anyone that America’s standing in the world is headed downward rather rapidly.

        But who am I to care? I’m no longer paying in. I am now taking out and someone else is paying my way.

        Hey! That sounds a lot of Obama’s Robin Hood vision for America, take from the rich and give to the poor in order to spread America’s wealth around.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “I recently read an article about PhDs living on Obama-welfare because they are unemployed, can’t get a job, and have an edumacation that simply does not matter. With four more years of Obama, we all can look forward to more of that.”

        If they have PhDs today, they selected their courses of study during the Bush administration.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        KixStart, these were not recent graduates, and they certainly did not choose a discipline that mattered, regardless which administration was in charge when they chose it.

        There are plenty of jobs available around the country for qualified people, but it does require moving to where the jobs are.

        And there are always foreign companies ready, willing and able to hire Americans with an education. To wit: my son who works for the biggest Japanese Bank, and is currently assigned to its branch in Southern California after serving eight years at their office in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.

        Speaking for myself and the education of my kids, I chose my undergraduate education during the Carter administration and finished my MBA during the Reagan administration when I was in my thirties.

        My kids chose their career paths and education in 1986, 1989, 1991, and 1994. Looking back, I did better during Reagan, Bush the Elder, Clinton and Bush the Younger than I am doing during the reign of trickle-up poverty of the Obama administration.

        How ’bout you?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Movies, TV, rap music, make the lifestyles of the hedonist rich more visible than ever before. People being what we are, we imitate their behavior with the hope of joining them.

        It’s easy to imitate the drugs and promiscuity. Credit, so long as it lasts, lets you copy the luxury cars, the home remodeling, the designer clothing.

        But you can’t imitate the wealth to avoid the consequences.

        Many people seem to have figured this out when easy credit dried up, at least as applied to rolling over the car loan every four years.

        The elephant in the room which many people do not seem to have figured out is that a liberal arts degree is every bit the luxury good of a new luxury car.

        Taking 5 years off from life to drink and ride coeds doesn’t make you erudite. It makes you a bum. Saving for retirement 5 years late and tens of thousands in the hole – or worse, using up your parents’ home equity – to do it makes you a bum and a fool.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Nicely put, Dan!

        When I was young and foolish and living in Huntington Beach, CA, near the beach, my dream was to remain a surfer and continue the life I had been so successful at on the beach.

        My dad had taught me how to rebuild the race engines for his dragster and I just knew that I could be an ace mechanic during my spare time away from the ocean, and make a ton of money at it.

        My dad put an end to that dream by packing my bags for me and putting them out on the sidewalk in front of the house the day I graduated from High School.

        I took the oath and joined the Air Force that same day, fully intending to decide my future course of action during the next four years of my enlistment. I ended up staying for twenty years.

        True story!

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Mmmmm, bourbon. Why, thanks, I think I will have a drop.

  • avatar

    Kentucky is one state that has a product which can make Americans proud

    David (love Blanton’s)

  • avatar
    77MGB

    This thread has me thinking hard about digging through those boxes in the basement and finding my old paperback of Vonnegut’s “Player Piano” for something to read this weekend.


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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States